A couple of weeks ago, I was at the Austin rally against GMO (genetically modified/engineered organisms) and was surprised, no shocked, to see that the crowd was so small compared to the size of our town. There were about 100-150 people out of about 600,000 living in this area attending an event that was trying to make us aware of the power of GMO food to alter our health and that of our children. Are we that sleepy when it comes to what some mad scientists and greedy corporations are doing to our food?
Shouldn’t the quality of our food be our #1 concern?
Regardless of our respective political beliefs, shouldn’t we be concerned about what we are feeding our children?
If I was cynical I would say it’s good for my type of business–nutrition therapy–but it is not a good stance for all of us to be unaware of what is done to our food in the name of profit. So, with your permission, I will try my best to educate you.
What Are GMOs?
GMOs are organisms created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering of GE). This relatively new science merges DNA from different species, creating combinations of plant, bacteria and viral genes that do not naturally occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.
Virtually all commercial GMOs are bred to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce its own internal insecticide.
The gene splicing process changes DNA in negative ways that are beyond science’s current ability to measure. Only time can tell and I would not want to be there when it happens.
As is typical, scientists believe they are better than nature when it comes to growing food but, in the process, are creating Frankenfood. Despite biotech industry’s promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, cheaper food, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit. Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damages and continuous violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.
What Is The Role Of Monsanto In This Potential Food Disaster?
According to the Organic Consumers Association:
- Independent laboratory tests and industry disclosures show that up to 75% of all non-organic foods contain ingredients from genetically engineered (GE) crops. Also, large animal feedlots are fed GE feed and shot up with GE hormones and vaccines.
- Monsanto RoundUp Ready corn, soy, cotton, canola, sugar beets and alfalfa are designed to withstand massive doses of weed killers. Since these crops were introduced in the 1990s, the use of toxic pesticides has increased dramatically in this country. I suppose it’s good for food biotech businesses.
- Monsanto genetically engineered bovine growth hormones (rBGH or rBST) is now owned by Eli Lilly and has come under fire from Breast Cancer Action for links between the consumption of hormone-tainted animal products and increased rates of breast, colon and prostate cancer in the past few years.
- Following Monsanto’s lead in GE crops and growth hormones, other companies in the biotech industry are creating genetically engineered animals. Frankenfish (Aqua Bounty Farms GE salmon) for dinner anyone? The FDA has already approved it for human consumption in October 2011 despite resistance from consumers, producers, grocery stores and restaurants. More information HERE.
- Despite growing public outcry over the safety of Monsanto Frankenfoods, the US government refuses to require safety-testing or labeling for genetically engineered foods. We have to keep pressure on our government to mandate GMO labeling on all food containing such abomination.
- And the biotech industry will not stop there. Assorted products are coming out of nanotechnology and synthetic biology labs. Are we really looking forward to more Frankenfoods? I know I’m not.
Please stay tuned (or even subscribe) to this blog, as we will continue this series on “What Is GMO?” over the next few days. In the second part you will find out which 10 nasty items Monsanto does not want you to know.